Byzantium after the Nation
The Problem of Continuity in Balkan Historiographies
Stamatopoulos undertakes the first systematic comparison of the dominant ethnic historiographic models and divergences elaborated by Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, Albanian, Romanian, Turkish, and Russian intellectuals with reference to the ambiguous inheritance of Byzantium. The title alludes to the seminal work of Nicolae Iorga in the 1930s, Byzantium after Byzantium, that argued for the continuity between the Byzantine and the Ottoman empires. Rival Balkan nationalisms engaged in a "war of interpretation" as to the nature of Byzantium, assuming different positions of adoption or rejection of its imperial model and leading to various schemes of continuity in each national historiographic canon.
Stamatopoulos discusses what Byzantium represented for nineteenth-, and twentieth-century scholars and how their perceptions related to their treatment of the imperial model: whether a different perception of the medieval Byzantine period prevailed in the Greek national center as opposed to Constantinople; how nineteenth-century Balkan nationalists and Russian scholars used Byzantium to invent their own medieval period (and, by extension, their own antiquity); and finally, whether there exist continuities or discontinuities in these modes of making ideological use of the past.
About the Author
"Dimitris Stamatopoulos is the first who achieves the immense feat of writing a comparative historiography of the Balkans, demonstrating how each national history writer needs to stand apart and compete with other historiographers related to the same contested area. The survival of the idea of 'empire' is subject to specific developments in the countries that belong to the Byzantine legacy, in consideration to contemporary positions concerning state and nation. But it is always conditioned by the reference to Western political thinking and to Western scholarship on Byzantium."—Bernard Heyberger
"Eighty-seven years after the publication of Byzance après Byzance, Dimitris Stamatopoulos masterfully revisits the afterlife of Byzantium in the Balkans'; national historical constructs of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A monument of erudition and historiographical acuity, Byzantium after the Nation looks into no less than five historiographical traditions: Greek, Bulgarian, and Albanian and of two regional offshoots in the twentieth century, Romanian and Turkish. A monument of erudition and historiographical acuity, Byzantium after the Nation is a most welcome contribution to the field."—Edhem Eldem
"Stamatopoulos's Byzantium after the Nation was originally published in Greek and was received by the international community of Hellenists as a major scholarly achievement, especially by those in favor of breaking with the traditional nation-centered historiographical canons. This revised English edition finally renders the book accessible to a broader public of Balkanologists. What makes this book an original and significant contribution is not only the solid theoretical foundation and the high relevance of the subject matterthe 'historiographical legacy' of Byzantiumbut also the author's genuinely comparatist and Balkanistic approach (involving the Balkans in its totality)."—Raymond Detrez
Other Titles by Dimitris Stamatopoulos
Other Titles in HISTORY / Historiography
Other Titles in Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900